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Impact! Superb College of Teachers journal made me think – a lot!

After the establishment of the Chartered College of Teaching there was always going to be a period of waiting to see what it’s really about once actions have been taken beyond the promising vision and sound intentions.  Impact gives us a massive clue.  Evidence-informed teacher wisdom is Go! Having ceased to be an active teacher, … Continue reading

From Research to Practice – changing teachers’ habits through research engagement. #rEDHan

This post contains the slides and key ideas I presented at ResearchEd in Haninge – #rEDHan on March 10th. I started off by suggesting that my rainforest metaphor for students’ learning might also apply to teachers – we need to strengthen our knowledge structure in order to have the capacity to explore the possibilities of … Continue reading

The Disadvantage ‘Gap’ is a Chasm.

From a range of different contexts, working in education for over 30 years, I’ve learned a great deal about the complexity of the community that comprehensive schools serve.  As an acting Designated Child Protection Officer for several weeks, I learned even more.  The scale on the axis of advantage and disadvantage is extraordinary with consequences for … Continue reading

Building Great Teachers: Theory of Action

Most, if not all, of my current work is geared towards building great teachers.   It’s such a fascinating, complex and challenging process.  Even if the focus is on yourself, or on one teacher, the process of enabling that one person to become a ‘great teacher’, more effective, more confident, more successful, more able to self-manage, … Continue reading

Understanding Assessment: A blog guide

In my experience, assessment is widely misunderstood by a lot of people in education – which is a worry given how much of it we do and how high the stakes are with formal assessment issues.  There all kinds of confusions, false premises, false promises and circularities across the system.   There are too many … Continue reading

Get assessment right and reduce workload at the same time. #HTRTSummit

On Friday 23rd February I gave talk at the Headteachers’ Roundtable Summit  on the theme of assessment and workload.  This blog captures some of the main points.  I’ve been exploring this theme is various other places too so, to avoid repetition, please also read: Towards an Assessment Paradigm Shift – how we need away from macro … Continue reading

Don’t do ‘Can do’. The problems with can-do checklists and trackers.

In my recent talk at ResearchEd in Birmingham (and more recently at Blackpool) , I explored some ideas about assessment and critiqued various responses to the challenge of getting assessment right.  Sensibly enough, given all the limitations and flaws in grading systems, lots of schools are trying to make their assessment systems meaningful, rooted in … Continue reading

We know Amy is struggling. The question is what we do about it.

As part of my talk at ResearchEd in Birmingham last weekend, I explored the role of centralised data collection, the ever-present bell curve, the problems with morphing fine-grained ideas about standards and achievement in different subjects into common data formats  – all as a pre-amble to examining the limits of ‘can do’ statements.  (That’s a … Continue reading

Hope and inspiration: so many brilliant school leaders driving change.

As I go about my  business as a consultant and speaker working with schools and colleges around the country, I’m continually impressed by the people I meet.  Although I am often dismayed by the direction of government policy and I worry about the rate of recruitment into the profession, there is no question that our … Continue reading

The Timeless Wisdom of Sitting in Rows

Some of the strangest debates or memes about education that pop up now and then are about the idea of students sitting in rows.  You don’t have to look too far to find people aligning this commonplace desk configuration along the axis of evil.  Only recently I came across a tweet that mentioned children sitting … Continue reading

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